by Hermione Eveningfall
Rating: PG (mostly for cursing)
Fandom: Backstreet Boys
Disclaimer: I naturally dont own the BSB, nor have I met any of them, nor do I know whether or not this incident actually occurred. This story is merely for pure fun.
Author's Notes: A sort-of-sequel to "Back Again". This is for the mood's challenge, and my mood was, well, frustration. hehe. Enjoy!

They could hear the laughter and splashing of pool water when they reached Brian Littrell's driveway. Amy had her arm linked through her boyfriend, Nick Carter's arm, and accepted gratefully the kiss he planted on her forehead.

"Don't feel comfortable kissing you on the lips just yet," he admitted. "Still recovering." he coughed into a fist, cringing at his sore throat. Amy rubbed his shoulder comfortingly. Nick had been sick with a bad cold for the past two weeks, ever since he and his bandmates returned from a recent world tour. The band, called the Backstreet Boys, began in late 1997, but Amy had known Nick for years. She'd moved into his neighborhood with her single mother at four years old, and ever since, she and Nick were inseperable.

It wasnt until fairly recently, however, that she and Nick decided they wanted to be "more than friends".

Nick went to the front door of Brian's condo, and knocked. The door flung open wide, and AJ appeared. He let out a yell of delight, and shouted, "Nicky!" he embraced his friend, and then turned to Amy, his arms spread out again. "Amy!" he picked her up and spun her around. "Lookin' good, dah-ling. Sexier than evah, baby." he winked, and Amy bared her teeth, letting out a purr of delight.

"Watch it, boner," Nick warned. "That's my girlfriend you're hitting on."

AJ motioned with his arm towards the door, and made a formal bow. "Everyone's out by the pool, and Brian's busy setting up the grill. That's why you had to deal with me instead of him." he grinned playfully, and Amy smacked his behind with her purse as they headed indoors. AJ gave a surprised "Whoop!" and made eyes back at her. The air conditioning felt wonderful after being in the sticky, Florida humidity for so long, but Nick hid a bit of a shiver.

"Doesnt trust you with the big boy's job, huh, AJ?" Nick teased, and Amy nudged his arm.

"Ignore him, AJ. He's still feeling crappy," she explained, and Nick wrapped an arm around AJ's shoulder.

"Nah, he knows I'm just messin' around."

AJ smirked. "Good save."

"HuhKESHHH!" Nick managed to turn to the side, cupping a hand over his mouth.

"Ewww," AJ squirmed, and Amy laughed.

"Bless you," she told him thoughtfully.

"Plannin' on contaminating my party, Frack?" A familiar, southern drawl filled their ears. Brian stood by the enormous grill, flipping raw burger meat. His white chef's hat was askew on his head, and Amy burst into giggles when she saw his grease-splattered apron. Brian raised an eyebrow at her, and threatened her with the spatula.

"Leighanne happens to think I look quite handsome in this get up."

A thin, blonde woman appeared through the sliding doors that lead to the kitchen, a tiny chihuahua yapping at her heels. She carried a bowl full of potatoe salad, and set it on the picnic table.

"Hey!" Amy cried, dashing towards her, and the two young women embraced. Leighanne and Brian were currently dating, and, according to Nick, Brian was seriously considering proposing to her. Leighanne had her hair pulled back into a ponytail, and nodded towards Brian.

"He insists on wearing it," she whispered. "Don't listen to him when he gives you the 'I told him to' crap."

Brian pretended to look startled by the accusation, and pouted. "Thanks for your support, honey!" he snapped, and then, turning down the gas, came to plant a kiss on Amy's cheek. "And thank you for comin'," he added, and gave Nick a strong handshake. "Help yourselves to the food."

A loud, tarzan yell broke through the din, and the group turned. Kevin Richardson, the oldest member of the band, stood on the diving board. He let out another yell, pounding his broad chest with his fists. Howie Dorough lay on one of the lounge chairs facing the pool, and was cheering him on. Amy raised an eyebrow as Kevin let out a final call, and did a cannon ball into the water. The splash was impressive, and sprayed all of them with a thin mist of water.

"Been drinking already?" Amy smirked, for Kevin was usually the more serious of the boys.

"One or two," Leighanne replied, and looked at Nick. "How are you feeling?" she asked.

"B-b-b--HuhESHHHHH! Damn!" Nick groaned, frustrated, and massaged his temples wearily.

"Bless you," the group told him in unison, and he wrapped his arms around Amy's thin waist.

"Thanks," he muttered. "Sorry, Leigh. As I was trying to say, better, but not too much. My Mom thinks I might have a little bit of a walking pneumonia or whatever you call it."

Brian flipped another burger, and let out a low whistle. "That bad, huh?" he asked. "Been to the doctor since we got back?"

Nick gave Brian a look, as though he'd gone completely insane. Brian shrugged innocently, and accepted a peck of a kiss from Leighanne.

"Try this," AJ told her, and she turned, only to find a piece of american cheese stuffed in her mouth. Leighanne let out a small gasp of surprise, and then slapped AJ on the arm.

"You really shouldn't have come then," Brian told his friend. "Go lay down in the gest room if you don't feel so hot."

Nick shook his head. "Nah, it's mostly just a lot of coughing. But I'm not contagious," he added, when AJ gave him the sign of a cross. "Besides. I've been in bed forever, it seems. I needed a break from that." he rubbed his nose, and then rested his chin on Amy's head. "Want something to drink?" he asked, pointing to the cooler. Amy raised her head, so she could get a better view of his face.

"Yeah," she whispered.


She nodded, and watched as he went to get two cans from the ice. He brought it over, and then Brian told them to go and relax by the lounge chairs. Amy went to give Howie a kiss, and waved to Kevin, who was swimming backstroke the length of the pool.

"Welcome back," Amy told Howie, as she sat on Nick's lap, using his chest as her pillow. Nick wrapped his strong arms around her, rubbing his hands down her shoulders. She turned to gaze at him, and he smiled, planting a kiss on her cheek. Brian and Leighanne were kissing as well, from where he stood at the grill, and he soon had her laughing as he spun her around.

"Pathetic, man," AJ snorted.

"You're just jealous," Nick teased, and AJ stuck out his tongue. "Well, I'm catchin' one more swim before dinner. Who's with me?"

Howie shrugged. "Why not?" he was already in his bathing suit as well, and followed AJ to the edge of the pool.

"Hey, do you guys have bathing suits?" Brian asked, and Nick looked at him.

"No," he replied.

"Do you want to borrow one of mine?" Leighanne asked, and he stared at her.

"Leighanne, sweetie, I appreciate the offer, but..."

Leighanne laughed. "I meant Amy, you dork!" she interrupted, and Amy looked at her.

"Will I fit?" she asked. "You're a little taller."

"Come with me," Leighanne offered, and Nick encouraged Amy to hop off of his lap. When the two women had gone into the house, just Brian, Nick and Kevin were the only ones left on the deck.

"You can borrow one of mine, man," Brian offered.

"You sure?" Nick asked.

"Go ahead. You know where my stuff is."

Nick got up and headed after the girls, and Kevin raised his arms. "Maybe we should take some snapshots of this, huh?" he suggested. "All of us in the pool with the women. Should make a good candid." he winked, and Brian rolled his eyes.

"Yeah," he chuckled. "The burgers are just about done, so we'll be eating soon." He checked to make sure all of the other food items were on the table, and Kevin smiled.

"It's hard to imagine that you might be getting married, Brian," he admitted. "God, you're my little cousin!"

Brian smirked. "Well, I havent quite decided when I'm going to ask..."

"Come on, Brian," Kevin broke in. "You know you love her. You know she's the one. You'd better do it soon, man, or you'll end up loosing her."

Brian set the spatula down, and covered the burgers so they would stay warm. "This is a big decision, Kev. Even you of all people should know better! I dont want to rush into this, and realize I made the biggest mistake of my life."

Nick came out at that moment, coughing into a fist. Brian turned, and raised an eyebrow. "You sound charming," he said, and Nick rubbed his arms.

"Yeah." he croaked, and sniffled. "I just want this damn cold to go away."

"You should go to the doctor, Nick. They can give you some antibioitics or something," Kevin suggested, as he sat down at the picnic table, resting his head in his arms. Brian came over, and started to feel his forehead, but Nick jerked away, embarassed.

"This isnt a joke, Nick," Brian told him. "You promised us last time, remember?" he raised his eyes, and Nick looked at him. About two years before, he'd suffered an allergy attack that sent him to the hospital, during the filming of the "I'll Never Break your Heart" music video. He'd been reprimanded by Brian, who'd told him to let them know if he felt lousy. Still, the idea of being fussed over by his friends was a little more than he could bear.

"I know it isnt, Brian. I just...I don't feel good, and I just..."

"Want to be left alone?" Kevin asked, and Nick shrugged.

"I don't know." he took a napkin from the pile on the table, and blew his nose. Just at that moment, Leighanne peeped out, grinning.

"Gentleman? Drum roll, please."

Kevin began drumming on the edge of the lawn chair, and Leighanne stood aside, preparing to lead Amy through the door. Nick had just finished blowing when she came out, and he gave a whistle of pleasure. He laughed weakly when she strutted over, wrapped her arms around his neck, and kissed him. "You're a little warm," she whispered, placing the back of her hand against his neck. He kissed her bare shoulder.

"I'll be okay," he promised.

"Nick," Amy warned, and he touched her lips.

Brian eventually called everyone for dinner, and all of them crwoded around the picnic table.

"Who wants cheese?" Leighanne asked, and half of their hands shot up.

"What would you like on yours, sweetie?" Amy asked, realizing that he wasn't one of them.

"Not really that hungry," he muttered, coughing again. Brian pointed towards the house. "Go lay down, Frack," he suggested. "I'll make you a plate or somethin' to take home."

Amy glanced at Brian. "Maybe we should go," she suggested, and Nick kissed her.

"We just got here, Amy. I couldn't just make you leave now."

Brian smirked. "If you want to go home, you can, and I'll drive her back later," he offered, and Amy felt her heart melt. She really did love these guys.

"HuhESHHHHH!" Nick managed to turn away from the table, and Amy rubbed his back. "HahKESHHH!"

"Bless you," everyone told him in unison, and he cleared his throat painfully.

"Thanks." he sighed, and Amy smiled.

"Probably isnt safe to drive yourself home," she told him. "How about..."

"How about I drive you home?" Kevin spoke up.

"Yeah!" Amy grinned. "I'll drive your truck back since I live next door to you, anyway. The rest of the guys'll take care of me."

"You don't like driving my truck," Nick told her, trying in vain to make a joke.

"Would you feel better if I at least followed you home?" Kevin asked, and Brian wrapped his arm around Amy.

"Don't worry about her, Frack. Just go home and get some sleep, huh?"

Nick gave Amy a quick hug, and kissed her forehead.

"I'm really sorry about this," he apologized, and she touched his cheek.

"I know you can't help it," she replied. "You just need to get some rest. I'll see you in the morning."

Kevin got up, waving to the rest of the guys, and followed a very exhausted Nick through the house and towards the driveway.

After they were out of earshot, and silence had filled the space, AJ let out an, "Okay! Who's up for twister?"

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